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Where Are They Now? Liverani, Ujfalusi, Dainelli

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All the people we used to know are an illusion to me now, but here's the reality of where some of Prandelli's stalwarts ended up.

If you didn't tear up a little, you might not have a soul
If you didn't tear up a little, you might not have a soul
mCalcio.com

Fabio Liverani

The man affectionately known around these parts as "Gandhi" for his bald head and slight stature was a ball-playing and skillful (about 1:51 into the video) defensive midfielder, a sort of ultra-lite Pizarro. Although hardly an imposing defensive presence, his passing ability, particularly the long balls out to the flanks, helped spring quick attacks for the outstanding Viola attackers of the day. After two seasons with Fiorentina, he moved on to spend three years at Palermo, where he ended up finishing his career at the age of 35, although he did sign a contract with Swiss team Lugano, for whom he never played.

Perhaps not surprisingly for such a cerebral player, Liverani (who was the first player of Somali descent to be capped for the Azzuri) has gotten into coaching. Pretty much as soon as he retired, he found a position working in the Genoa set-up, spending two years as a youth coach before his surprising appointment to senior manager in 2013. He lasted all of seven games, guiding Genoa to 15th place, before being replaced by Gian Piero Gasperini.

Liverani resurfaced unexpectedly in England, taking over League 1 Leyton Orient in December and managing 30 points through 26 games. Despite this decent run of form, the team ended up three points shy of safety and were relegated. He parted ways with the English side, and is now unattached. Paulo Sousa, if you're reading this, please text him with a job offer. We miss him.

Tomas Ujfalusi

Tomas Ujfalusi was a goddamn tank of a defender who joined Fiorentina in their first season back in Serie A. Powerful and fearless, he was equally comfortable battling in the center, where Prandelli preferred him, or powering up and down the right flank. He was sort of a Roncaglia-type figure, but probably a step or two better, and maybe not quite as loopy on the field (although certainly a bit nuts off it--that picture may not be safe for work/dreams). He spent four years in Florence and made nearly 150 appearances with the team before leaving on a Bosman in 2008.

The Czech's destination was Atletico Madrid (what is it with those guys and Fiorentina defenders?), with whom he won the Europa League in 2009. His uncompromising style didn't go over as well in the finesse-oriented Spanish leagues (he infamously injured Messi with a crunching tackle in 2010), and he was sold to Galatasaray in 2011.

Despite being sent off in his first game in Turkey, he remained a starter for the season and won the league with Galata. After spending a few months training with Sparta Prague, the Czech international captain (78 caps) hung up his boots in 2013. He returned to Turkey to take over as director of Galatasaray, leaving his post the following year. Now, looks like he's just hanging out and living the good life.

Dario Dainelli

Dario Dainelli also joined Fiorentina in 2004, coming from Brescia on a co-ownership deal that Fiorentina bought the rest of immediately. Only a year later, he took over the captaincy from Christian Rigano, and wore the armband for five years. A big, crafty center back, he was the definition of steady veteran, relying on his excellent reading of the game and aerial ability more than his athleticism. He was an excellent partner for Alessandro Gamberini, and a comforting figure for the club with whom he spent six seasons. He even won a single cap for Italy, which he certainly deserved.

Sold to Genoa in 2010 to make room for newly-purchased Cesare Natali, Dainelli spent a year with the Grifoni before moving to Chievo Verona, first on loan, and then permanently in 2012. Unlike the previous two, Dainelli is still chugging along at the age of 36, and is still a key fixture in Chievo's starting eleven. He can't really get any slower or less athletic at this point, so there's no real reason he can't play for another year or two. Or for the rest of time.